Computers could discover future drugs

The drugs of tomorrow may be discovered by computers. A proof-of-concept study published December 23 in Cell Systems demonstrates that with the right input of data about infectious yeast, a machine algorithm can learn to identify combinations of existing and previously unknown compounds that can work together as antifungal agents. While the method needs to be perfected, it’s a new approach to combat infectious disease with the potential to rapidly identify combinations of agents that might help overcome drug resistance. We don’t yet know how well the newly discovered chemical combos will work to treat yeast infections in animals or humans, but the research team did select 18 potential combinations to treat human pathogenic yeast in laboratory dishes and their high success rates confirms that the combinations have potential for…

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